Between the pollutants in the environment, the chemical residues and processed additives in the food supply, and the cumulative effects of daily work, social and familial stressors, it’s easy to wonder if our bodies are saturated with impurities. Sometimes we notice signs that our system isn’t on point, like problematic skin, fatigue, digestive irregularities, and poor sleep. A quick online search yields countless products and plans catering to our concerns with attractive “detox” promises. But how to know what is safe and effective — or even necessary?
In reality, the human body is beautifully designed to clean itself. It’s already doing it, round the clock. Drastic measures aren’t really required; however, there are holistic ways to support the detoxification systems in doing their work. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Detox regimes based on deprivation – like water, broth and lemonade fasts – are a thing of the past. Not only are they not needed, they’re counter-productive. The liver, the body’s main detoxification organ, requires nutrients and antioxidant compounds in adequate amounts to process toxins. If supplies aren’t sufficient, toxins can’t be broken down. So ensure that your efforts to cleanse include ample nourishment in the form of nutritionally-rich soups, smoothies, purees, juices or solid foods.
When children sleep, they grow. As adults, we repair damage and clean out unwanted debris in the overnight hours. Simply making time for sleep can ramp up any body cleansing efforts. More often than not, detox regimes focus on everything from the chin down, but the brain, our control center, should not be overlooked. Recuperative rest allows the brain to de-clutter, organize, and chemically reset too.
When body is preoccupied with managing the effects of daily pressures, it has less resources to dedicate to the detoxification systems. Some sources argue that stress is, in fact, the single most damaging toxin our systems encounter. As such, don’t plan for a detox experience amidst a schedule packed back-to-back with commitments. Lighten your diary or carve out time for a proper getaway to get more from your cleansing intentions. Seek out peace and quiet and simply breath.
All COMO Shambhala spas offer mindfulness practices, like meditation and yoga, to support guests decompressing. The Cleanse program at COMO Shambhala Estate, our flagship wellness centre, buffers guests from the outside world with 11 hectares of secluded Balinese jungle landscape.
Since it’s happening continuously under the skin’s surface, we forget that cleansing requires energy. Strenuous exercise – like cross-fit, HIIT workouts, and running – pulls oxygen and blood away from the detoxification systems and shuttles it to the heart, the lungs and the muscles. The body cannot be expected to dial-up the detox efforts and then direct its resources. Instead, modify your movement. A light sweat to encourage the release of impurities through the skin, but not too much to compromise your cleanse. Consider walking or yin yoga.
Visit the Spa
Just as therapeutic foods provide internal support, certain spa services can also support detoxification. Since we can remove superficial impurities via the skin, simply sitting for a few minutes in a steam room or sauna can help open the pores and allow for release. Massage treatments clearly relax and alleviate tension, but they’re purportedly also help liberate toxins from body tissues and facilitate their clearance. When safe and suitable, guests at COMO Shambhala Estate may try more more specialized treatments such as manual lymphatic drainage and colon hydrotherapy – both meant to escort waste and toxins from the body more intentionally.
Most importantly, remember that you – your body, your medical history, your needs and goals – are unique. Be careful with one-size-fits-all mass-marketed plans. Instead, consider aligning with a credible healthcare practitioner who can tailor to you. Places like COMO Shambhala Estate partner with credentialed experts, such as doctors of Oriental Medicine and Ayurveda, registered dietitians, and trained therapists who look after every element of their experience. Your wellbeing and wellness efforts are worth the investment.
This article was contributed by Eve Persak, a visiting practitioner at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape. A Registered Dietitian and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, she offers a 360-degree approach to nutritional therapy for weight loss, and nutrition support for fitness enhancement and sport. She also works with clients to evaluate their home kitchens, suggesting alternative ingredients, cooking methods and meal ideas for better health.
Top Image: COMO Shambhala Cuisine